Embattled outfielder Josh Hamilton may not wear a Los Angeles Angels uniform ever again, as a source to Michael McCann of SportsIllustrated.com said that Hamilton could be gone from the team in a matter of days.
Hamilton has been on a legal roller coaster ever since admitting to a relapse of drugs and alcohol abuse this past February. Things heated up when an independent arbitrator ruled a few weeks ago that under the Joint Drug Agreement, Josh Hamilton should not be punished by Major League Baseball. The decision has caused both anger and resentment from both parties involved.
Angels’ owner Arte Moreno and General Manager Jerry Dipoto have both been very vocal regarding Hamilton’s contractual situation and have publicly expressed that there’s language within the five-year, $125-million deal the former MVP signed back in 2013 that could lead to termination thereof.
Hamilton, 33, has been sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason. A May return was the initial plan, but with the Angels not wanting him back, his return has been set back to late June. Although Hamilton has said that he’s ready to play baseball, the Angels want him to go through a minor-league rehab first.
Although Moreno has reiterated that there’s explicit language in Hamilton’s contract that could help them void it for the use of drugs and alcohol, various reports have said that there’s no such thing. With the Players’ Association now stronger than ever, it will be interesting to see which weapon(s) Los Angeles utilize against Hamilton.
Since his relapse admission back in February, Hamilton has filed for divorce from his wife Katie Hamilton and has listed his Newport Coast house in California up for sale for a modest $16.5 million. The couple own two more properties and are still sorting everything out as Katie denied Josh’s petitions outlined in his initial divorce filing.
Whether by using the legal force or not, it is clear at this point that a return to the Angels for Josh Hamilton is all but impossible at this point.